Motherhood

Psst, What Children’s Books Do YOU Like?

Psst, What Children's Books Do YOU Like?

Children’s books can be very sweet to read, but, let’s be honest, not all of them are equally compelling. Paddington Bear makes my eyes glaze over, and as Alex once said, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar is tough sledding.” So, between us adults, I’m curious: What children’s books do you actually enjoy? Here are 9 I love (and the boys do, too)…

What books do you like reading? I’d love to hear your recs!

P.S. My kids’ hilariously passive-aggressive notes, and what parenting is really like.

(Top photo by Alpha Smoot of Toby’s bedroom.)

  1. I love “Paper Bag Princess”!

  2. Emily Rack says...

    And how could I forget The Good Egg and the Bad Seed?!

  3. Vee says...

    Oh, also have to add some seasonal favorites!!

    For Halloween —
    “Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance” by Keith Graves. Only for the spooky at heart cause, spoiler alert: He unzips his head toward the end. But super fun for kids who go in for that sort of thing. My spooky chick memorized it at age 3.

    For Christmas–
    “The Night Tree” by Eve Bunting. Gorgeous illustrations, sweet story. Only downside is that my kid now wants to decorate a tree in the woods for Christmas.
    &
    “The Star Tree” by Gisela Colle. Beautiful story of the power of community.

  4. Emily says...

    What an amazing thread – I studied children’s literature for my master’s degree at the University of Cambridge (the program there is amazing!) and that dual readability or enjoyability is so important for parents…especially when you are reading books 7x in a row.

    One of my research projects was about the understanding of irony in children’s literature. I mostly used Jon Klassen’s “I Want My Hat Back,” and I was happy to see him represented here. I love the book because it is so hilariously dark, but interestingly, since kids understanding of written irony doesn’t really kick in until age 7, it can mean something totally different to a kindergartener, a 3rd grader, and a parent.

    Other favourites with us our little guy and US are:

    Miss Rafferty’s Rainbow Socks
    The Mapmaker’s Daughter
    Penguin and Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime
    Edward Built a Rocketship – a book my dad wrote for my sisters and I as little girls that ended up being published!

    • Alice says...

      I keep coming back to this thread and buying more!

      I’d like to add ‘whatever next’ by Jill Murphy, as it has not yet had a mention

  5. Vee says...

    “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” by William Joyce.

    It’s my gift-to-everyone / no-kid’s-library-is-complete-without-it book.

    Read it. You will be so glad you did.

    • Ivy says...

      Oh. My. Gosh. I love this book. It’s the first book I’m buying for myself whenever I get pregnant.

  6. Kate says...

    King baby! I buy it for all new parents because it’s so funny and true

    • Charity says...

      Loved this one. It was on repeat with my daughter for a bit. And the main character with tights on her head just cracked me up!

  7. Meredith MC says...

    I’m sure many have said this already, but doctor Seuss is a genius. Also the Frog and Toad series I loved as a kid and adult reading to my own.

  8. Noodle says...

    I love me some rhyming… ‘The Everywhere Bear’ and ‘All The Ways to be Smart’ just roll off the tongue.
    I enjoy the humour in ‘Triangle’ and ‘Square’ too.
    If I never have to read ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ I think I will be happy, doesn’t sound like my cup of tea!

  9. Jessi says...

    Shirley Hughes’s books are just beautiful to look at – all the detail inside peoples houses. My favourite was always Lucy and Tom but her book about evacuee children gaining courage is just wonderful “the lion and the unicorn”

  10. Kate the Great says...

    I love books with lots of really detailed drawings that I can do voices for.

    I love Stephen Kellogg’s Jimmy’s Boa books. There are four or five of them. You can read them in order and they have a linear story line or you can just read one. The voices are fun and not complicated– they”re all a conversation between Meggie and one other character, so you only have to keep track of two voices per book.

    Others I love: Toys in Space by Mini Grey– each toy has a voice. A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry: really calming, and I just unabashedly love trees. Any Brian Floca book. We started with Lightship, but I have yet to read a book of his that I didn’t love. King Hugo’s Huge Ego by Chris Van Dusen…

    • Molly K says...

      We have Brian Floca’s Moonshot and Locomotive and they’re really good. (We especially love Moonshot. When I volunteered to read in my kindergartener’s class, that is the book I brought.) I will have to check out his others. Thanks for reminding me about him!

  11. Alynn Paccagnella says...

    Ursa’s Light
    Book by Deborah Marcero

  12. BeverlySomething says...

    All of Sandra Boynton’s board books were big hits when my nieces and nephew were little, but her book Barnyard Dance had an absolutely hypnotic effect on my nieces at bed time. I would just keep repeating it going slower and slower until they fell asleep. My sister just had a baby and I’m excited to get them all out again now that the older kids have outgrown them.

    The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak is another favorite of ours. The kids love “tricking” the grown-ups into saying some ridiculously silly stuff. Even my oldest niece (who is very dramatically OVER being read to) will put her chapter book down and make her way to the group.

  13. Mandy says...

    Simon Philip’s hilarious “You Must Bring a Hat” … ideally when it is read by Tom Hardy
    https://youtu.be/McluOEkjop4

    • Erin says...

      It is a funny book!

      A book with a similar sense of humor is “Count the Monkeys”, by Mac Barnett.

  14. Lacey Wicksall says...

    Oh my – Hug Time by Patrick McDonnell is delicious – and good for the soul. A lot of adults could benefit from reading it as well.

  15. Rebecca says...

    Kevin Henkes has the most beautiful, simple read alouds for young children, “A good day” and “Kitten’s first full moon” will forever be favorites. Mac Barnett and Oliver Jeffers are so wonderful and always make me smile. (I was so jealous when I read that you shared an office with him! (I’m a children’s librarian.)) My almost 4 year old is currently obsessed with the Apollo missions and the moon landing though and we both enjoyed “Go for the Moon” by Chris Gall. So much detail and his own personal take on Apollo 11! Plus he wrote and illustrated the book, what a talent!

  16. Virginia says...

    Ooh, this one is super hard. One of the really cool things about working in a children’s library several years back was when I had a little bit of time to spend with the books while shelving them. So many times I laughed out loud, or tears came to my eyes, just in the few minutes it took to read the book! A recent favorite is Philip Stead’s “All the Animals Where I Live.” And also, always, forever: Rosemary Wells’s “Voyage to the Bunny Planet.” All three stories. I can never decide which one I would choose myself. Speaking of bunnies, we’ve also loved our copy of “That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown,” which I definitely got based on a recommendation I saw somewhere on DALS.

  17. Emily says...

    The Book with No Pictures and This is Not My Hat. Anything by Jan Thomas is sure to draw out a smile as well.
    Erin Stead is my very favorite illustrator.

  18. Kristin says...

    “Cordurey” and “The Paper Bag Princess” ☺️

  19. Margaret Forsey says...

    I am passionate about children’s books!
    Here are a few I adore:
    “Cloth Lullaby- The woven life of Louise Bourbeois.
    Written by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault.
    This book is inspiring, atmospheric, and gorgeous.
    “Leave Me Alone!” By Vera Brogsol is hilarious and also beautiful.
    “Sonya’s Chickens” by Phoebe Wahl is heartfelt and teaches you about the cycle of life and also features a biracial family. And is gorgeous, too. Everything Phoebe Wahl creates is genius.

  20. MM says...

    My boys and I love anything by Barbara Reid and her books have amazing illustrations using Plasticine! Over the years we have also loved the Curious George books, Dear Zoo, The Gruffalo, any many by Robert Munsch (my personal favourite is Swamp Water). My older two (8 and 11) LOVE the Harry Potter series and anything by Eric Walters who is a Canadian historical fiction author.
    It has been really awesome to read through these comments:)

  21. Anything by Chris Van Allsburg, both for plot and for illustrations, is a pleasure to go through.

    One that made me giggle as an adult was Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. I remember there was a page with a duck that had me laughing hysterically.

    • Elizabeth says...

      my baby LOVES Click Clack Moo (and so do i)

  22. I love the “Olivia” series by Ian Falconer. So imaginative, and I love the illustrations as well!

    We also recently discovered “Charlotte the Scientist” by Camille Andros; it’s engaging AND educational, which is a great combination. Both my 2 and 7 year-old enjoyed it with me, I mean, I enjoyed it with them, haha.

  23. Sarah S says...

    We’ve found many of the Robert Munsch books pretty entertaining. My favorite is The Paper Bag Princess. Some of them are better than others for sure, but they beat a lot of the other children’s books out there. Mo Williams books are other favorites – short on words, big on humor/wit. Kids love them. Adults love them (well…at least adults don’t hate them). Elephant and Piggie are some of our favorites!

  24. christine says...

    Two classics: One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish and Green eggs and ham. I loved them as a kid and its fun to re-read them now

    • Erin says...

      I also love reading Green Eggs and Ham!

  25. Jo says...

    I love all of these, actually, so you might love my absolute favorites: Extra Yarn and The Seeing Stick. And Eloise, of course!

    • Margaret Forsey says...

      Extra Yarn is one of my favourites, too!

  26. Shauna says...

    now by antoinette portis is phenomenal– it’s like a mantra that helps me stay in the present moment. i also love life by cynthia rylant– lush illustrations and i swear this book helped me get through the worst of my postpartum depression and anxiety. i also really like windows by julia denos– great for city kids and helped me embrace our new neighborhood after we moved. wild berries by julie flett is my favorite book to read aloud in storytime (i’m also a children’s librarian)– stark imagery contrasted with really tender words. anything written or illustrated by julie flett, actually.

  27. Leanne says...

    Blueberries for Sal, Who Moved My Cheese, Make Way for Ducklings

  28. Claire says...

    The Jenny Linksy books, by Esther Averill, was an ongoing infatuation for my son and me. Also, I love Purple House Press for unusual and gorgeous re-issues of out of print books. When my son got older (ages 8-10) we read The Mad Scientist Club over and over. My neighbor borrowed it and wouldn’t give it back because he loved it so much, and remembered it from his childhood and wanted to read it to his daughters. But we could not blame him and it worked out just fine because he bought us a new copy.

    • Rebecca says...

      Love the Jenny Linsky books! And, Pickles the Firecat.

  29. Maureen says...

    Rumplestiltzkin’s Daughter-by Diane Stanley-what a gem! It flips the script and is very empowering for little girls!

  30. Christina says...

    Mercy Watson and the whole Deckawoo Drive story series by Kate DiCamillo as well as the Poppleton books by Cynthia Rylant

  31. Liz O says...

    The Day the Crayons Quit ( D. Daywalt) is perhaps one of the funniest kids book ever. I actually think (in fact I know), that I enjoyd it more than my grandkids who just sat there and watched me laugh outloud.

  32. Aimee Colyer says...

    We LOVE – Frank and Lucky get Schooled – by Lynn Rae Perkins. It’s a super sweet book about a dog and a boy and what they learn together. It’s such a clever book!

  33. Brenda says...

    “Mi Amor Por Ti/My Love For You” by Susan Roth is my 6 month old’s favorite board book. Two tiny mice express their loves in terms of animals in both Spanish and English. It’s a great way to expose your little one to a new language and the illustrations are gorgeous.

  34. Mandi says...

    Right now we’re reading Up in the Garden, Down in the Dirt, which makes me miss New England. The Tiger Who Came to Tea is so cute, and my 3 year old loves the George and Martha stories.

  35. Faith says...

    My little one loves “The Adventures of Taxi Dog” by Debra Barracca. The story is sweet and the illustrations of NYC (in 1990!) are stunning.

    • SaraY says...

      The sing-song quality of Maxi the Taxi dog is unparalleled. I could read it again and again without my child’s asking.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      love maxi the taxi dog!

  36. Kara says...

    This is a great list; can I add books to avoid? A thing I’ve discovered since my kiddo turned 3: there are a LOT of children’s books lately that are basically written for adults, and don’t take into account how a child experiences them. There’s the Parent Identity Signaling book (A is for Activist is an example of this, which I wanted to love! But it’s just a list of references with no narrative, and it doesn’t even have a rhyming meter, even though it’s trying to? Garbage.), there’s the This Is Just A TV Storyboard (*cough* Mo Willems). There’s a trend in illustrating to use speech bubbles for dialogue instead of working it into the prose, but children who cannot read can’t tell who is talking! Then there are books that should really just be a series of beautiful art prints, because the text is an afterthought, with, again, NO STORY (Home, by Carson Ellis), or books where the whole thing is wink-nod jokes for the adult reader and the child can’t follow at all (Ooko) so you spend the whole time fielding 8 million questions.

    • Victoria Haynes says...

      Omg spot on! I can’t stand this kind of in-joke to parents book. My other peeves: books with a message rather than a story, when books are entirely too long, or books written in verse that doesn’t scan. I don’t think anyone has improved on Frog and Toad, honestly. Deep but simple, funny, and the perfect length. For babies: I love The House in the Night. So calming to read.

    • Bb says...

      I totally agree. I strongly dislike the dragons love tacos books for this reason.

  37. Katie N says...

    I, too, could go on and on and on. I’ve seen a lot of favs here – for toddler age, “Shh! We Have a Plan” was a fun read-aloud and then we’d quote it/act it out with our son. The wordless “The Girl and the Bicycle” ALWAYS makes me tear up – classic plot where a young girl sees a bike in a store window, works hard to earn money, and then it’s gone…only to have a kind surprise in the end. Seriously…tearing up THINKING about it.

  38. Heather Cosby says...

    Anything by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. My kindergartner brought home Chopsticks from her school library this week and I laughed out loud at all the puns. The cover says, “Not exactly as sequel to ‘Spoon.’ More like a change in place setting.”

    I learned in Rosenthal’s adult books that she LOVES words and language and her children’s books are just full of the joy and magic of words. Though, be warned, it’s easy to dive in to her deep repertoire and then every time you read her books, you’ll tear up a little that she’s gone, and too soon.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love her so much. did you read Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life? made my heart swell, she was an amazing, curious, beautiful person.

  39. SMK says...

    Many of our favorites have already been mentioned here, but I’ll add another two: “Have You Filled a Bucket Today” is a wonderful book that teaches children to be kind, caring and respectful of others; bucket filling and dipping are regular topics in our house. And we just got from the library, “Piggy in the Puddle.” I’m not sure if it’s still in print, but it’s hilarious to read (like the Wonky Donkey) and the words just roll (or stumble) off your tongue. I find myself saying oofy poofy all the time now.

  40. Lisa says...

    “Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson has always been my favorite for little ones. The last line is just perfect for bedtime reading.

    “Miss Rumphius” by Barbara Cooney is beautifully illustrated and a wonderful message about doing good in the world.

    And finally, Chris Burkard’s “The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth” is again beautifully illustrated, a nice message about slowing down (which also works for bedtime), and my younger son absolutely delights in searching for the animals on every page.

    Also echo Oliver Jeffers’ “Stuck” as well as Robert McCloskey’s books, especially “One Morning in Maine”, and “This is How We Do It”.

  41. Elise says...

    I love Kelly DiPucchio! https://www.kellydipucchio.com/books.html

    I haven’t read all of her books but my children (3 and 5) have loved:
    Dragon Was Terrible
    Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet
    Gaston
    Antoinette

    Speaking of Antoinette, I also love lots of books by Antointette Portis. I fell utterly in love with her book “Wait” — very simple text about parents rushing their children and children seeing the world differently. https://www.antoinetteportis.com/books/

  42. Neb says...

    A is for Activist – is my new favorite gift to give for people who are expecting.

  43. Heather says...

    The Day The Crayons Quit makes me laugh every single time – so very clever.

    Another favorite is Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge. Always have to hold back tears when reading it to kids. It is such a sweet story.

  44. Kate B Munkittrick says...

    We love 2 of the other books from this series (have not read Iggy Peck), Ada Twist Scientist and Rosie Revere Engineer. My daughters love them.

    • Sarah says...

      Love those books! I cry reading them to my daughter sometime. So empowering and beautiful. I’m glad we live in an age that these are the messages she’ll grow up hearing.

    • Erin says...

      We have and love all three, although Rosie Revere Engineer is probably the favorite. Now my kids finish the line “The only true failure can come if you quit!” Accurate life advice!

  45. Emily says...

    I read a recommendation somewhere that parents should (could, who likes shoulds) ideally read several grade levels higher with their kids. I have a 4 & 7 year-old, so we definitely read a ton of picture books, but without fail, the DORY FANTASMAGORY early chapter book series is completely genius and captivates both of them. My older one can read them on her own, but she loves hearing them out loud alongside her little sister.

    Dory is a young girl who lives partly in the real world, partly in her imaginary world, which includes a gnome fairy godmother, Mr. Nuggy, whom she talks to via banana; an evil villianess, Ms. Gobblecracker; and her best friend monster, Mary. The series explores the general trials and tribulations of the early elementary years – learning to read, losing teeth, making friends, dealing with siblings and parents, etc. It makes me laugh out loud and I can read every book over and over and over and over again and still appreciate something new each time.

    Author Abby Hanlon is so in tune with a child’s world, and her illustrations are delightful. A new book in the series is released today, so serendipitous timing!

  46. Ramya says...

    “Lots” by Marc Martin. It was a gift for my now almost-6 yr old’s 4th birthday and he has loved it since then. Each page has beautiful & fun illustrations and information about a different city or place in the world (e.g. Paris, New Delhi, Cape Town). My son is endlessly curious about geography and places and so digs this one, having memorized most of it by now. It’s also great preparation if you happen to be travelling to any of these places (e.g. before our first ever trip to NYC, he knew he was going to be seeing street carts, rats in the Subway and skyscrapers). More recently, he’s also been digging “Of Thee I Sing” by Barack Obama and “Malala’s Magic Pencil” by Malala Yousafzai. I love being able to teach him about history and social justice through these kinds of books!

  47. SC says...

    We love every single book we own by Julia Donaldson. The Snail and the Whale is my personal favorite, and my son loves Room on the Broom, The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child. Her writing is lyrical and fun. A bonus is that a couple of the books have been turned into short movies – my son will watch Room on the Broom over and over, and I find them so soothing compared to the fast paced other shows he likes (PJ Masks, for example!).

    • Chelsea Osmond says...

      The Julia Donaldson/Alex Scheffler books are our favourite, too! So lyrical and fun to read. Started with the classic Gruffalo – other faves include The Scarecrow’s Wedding, The Smartest Giant in Town (about a kind and generous giant), and my personal favourite, the delightfully musical Tabby McTat!

    • Sarah says...

      100% agree with all of this!

    • Erin says...

      Room on the Broom and A Gold Star for Zog are multi-generation favorites at our house, too.

      We’re all fans of the animated versions, also.

  48. Claire says...

    The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord was my absolute favorite book growing up. My mom tells me that I had it memorized and would pretend to read it, flipping the pages at the right points, when I was 3. I can still recite parts of it with her intonation now (I’m 26). Just the other day my dad apparently bought the book for a friend’s child, and my mom sent me a video of her reading the book aloud, and I followed her perfect sing-songy read aloud voice the whole way through.

  49. Ragon says...

    The Princess in Black series! Fun to read out loud, great intro to chapter books, awesome characters!

    • Leanne says...

      “EAT GOATS!” “You may NOT eat the goats!”

      … my kids bring this up in conversation all. the. time.

  50. Lisa Camann says...

    My current favorite is
    Dear Girl by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Paris Rosenthal (Authors) & Holly Hatam (Illustrator)

    Such a sweet baby shower gift… they also have “Dear Boy”

  51. And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano and Erin Stead is my all time favorite. Gorgeous. There’s such a beautiful, poetic art in childrens’ books!

  52. Sarah says...

    Anything by Shel Silverstein. I have a huge collection from when I was a child and I love reading them to my son now.

  53. LEE A HILLHOUSE says...

    Beware the Storybook Wolves by Lauren Child
    Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book by Julia Donaldson
    All the Pooh books
    All the Beatrix Potter, especially Tom Kitten

  54. Margaret says...

    The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin is very touching and beautifully illustrated

    • jillian bedell says...

      I love all her stories.

  55. Abby says...

    Yes! Now, i want to go home and watch this movie :)

  56. N says...

    The Dot! It’s well drawn and well-written; it’s quick but sends an important message (for kids and adults alike); the star of it is a little girl named Vashti but it’s not *about* girls and boys, she just happens to be the center of the story which I’m always stoked on. Also, What’s Cooking? and Can I Eat That? a pair of really cool-looking and interesting books that are so fun to read about things you can and can’t eat (“Can I eat a tomato? Can I eat a tornado?”).

  57. Jill says...

    This is wonderful! Going through the list and requesting them at the library.
    My toddler and I love:
    Snowy day by Ezra Keets
    I Feel Teal by Lauren Reel
    Corduroy books
    Candice Ransom books – simple stories about a brother & sister playing in different seasons

    Elephant & Piggi

  58. EW says...

    Anything by Chris Van Dusen is a hit in our house. My oldest thinks he IS Randy Riley from Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit. My husband loves The Circus Ship. And, King Hugo’s Huge Ego is just really, really funny. These are books we will keep long after the kids have outgrown them.

    • jillian bedell says...

      He lives in my town!

    • Jessica says...

      Agreed and BONUS points for combined writer/illustrator!!
      He also has THE BEST rhymes.

  59. k says...

    Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells
    Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox
    The Napping House and King Bidgood by Don and Audrey Wood

    • Kate the Great says...

      I love Don and Audrey Wood too. My favorite is Heckedy Peg. The one about the strawberry and the bear that we never see or hear is great, too.

      I am not a fan of just Audrey Wood though– the upside-down chick, I’ve spaced her name, drives me bonkers.

  60. Eleanor says...

    My all time favorite is Letting Swift River Go by Jane Yolen. It’s gorgeous and nostalgic. I consider it in my top favorite books of any genre, not just kids books.

  61. Jamie says...

    I have to disagree with “Iggy Peck Architect”. The female teacher is portrayed as too emotional, and therefore incompetent, and the boy saves the day. Not a message I want my daughters to receive. On the other hand, I love “This is How We Do It” (a COJ recommendation!) for showing a world view at a kid level with amazing illustrations. “Mostly Monsterly” is another great one that’s all about embracing being yourself.

    • Kate B Munkittrick says...

      We love 2 of the other books from that series (have not read Iggy Peck), Ada Twist Scientist and Rosie Revere Engineer. My daughters love them.

  62. We just read Zen Shorts from the library and it was a hit with my 2.5 year old! He’s also loving the Piggie and Elephant books by Mo Willems and is even starting to pick out a few of the words as they are often repeated. He loves them!

    Maureen

  63. janine says...

    The original Knuffle Bunny should be subtitled “Mommy and Daddy earn $200k a year but don’t have laundry in the building, because they live in Brooklyn.”

  64. Heather says...

    Mousie, I Will Read To You
    Sadie
    City Moon
    Little Owl’s Night & Little Owl’s Day
    Thank You and Goodnight (Loooove Patrick McDonnell)
    A Small Blue Whale
    Kitten’s First Full Moon

    And my favorite – poetry that perfectly encapsulates the seasons and childhood: When Green Becomes Tomatoes

    • Margaret Forsey says...

      Oh, I love “When Green Becomes Tomatoes” too!
      You are right, the poems capture the seasons so well and the illustrations are beautiful. And I love “Sadie”, too. I shall have to look up the other books on your list, since it seems that we have similar taste!

    • Jennifer says...

      I love the illustrations in City Moon! The scenes in the windows…

  65. Ilka says...

    Oh the Thinks You Can Think! by Dr. Seuss. I never get tired of reading it.

    • Betsy says...

      Bread and Jam for Frances! I loved it as a kid and I still enjoy it as an adult.

  66. Elise says...

    This is really a question: I am part of a “Read to a Dog” program at our elementary school. I would like advice on the best, most fun, helpful first grade books with dogs in them. Boy, am I tired of the few available. Perhaps Pippa the dog would like different ones too! Any help is appreciated. Thank you, Elise in Colorado

    • Amy says...

      What a sweet program! If I Built A Car and If I Built A House feature the boy’s pet dog on every page, though they are not “about” the dog. Great read alouds though! Harry The Dirty Dog I don’t think has aged well from a race-conscious perspective, but there may be other stories about him.

    • EW says...

      Cute! Here are some off the top of my head:
      Good Rosie by Kate DiCamillo
      The Story of the Little Black Dog by J. B. Spooner and Terre Lamb Seeley
      Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham
      Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty and Julia Sarcone-Roach

    • Elise, you might like these:

      Fred Stays With Me Nancy Coffelt
      Can I Be Your Dog? Troy Cummings
      Madeline Finn and the Library Dog Lisa Papp
      The Great Gracie Chase Cynthia Rylant
      Hello Goodbye Dog Maria Gianferrari
      Dogs Emily Gravett

    • Alice says...

      Oh no George!

    • Susan says...

      How fun! There was a Reading with Rover program in our area & my daughter wanted to sign up with our dog. Unfortunately, every time we sat down next to him & tried to read to him, he would get up and leave. We laugh about it now, but at the time it was frustrating.

      We loved the Henry and Mudge series (by Cynthia Rylant), about the adventures of an only child & his dog.

    • Poppy says...

      The Mr. Putter and Tabby series have a lot about his neighbor Mrs. Teaberry and “her good dog Zeke” in the stories.

    • Kate the Great says...

      I loved The Diggingest Dog as a kid. Also, The Napping House has a dog.

  67. Jessie Bell says...

    I absolutely loved this video, of an adorable Scottish Grandma who can’t stop laughing while reading the baby book The Wonky Donkey, so much so that I went out the next day and bought it! All so I could read this book with my twin niece & nephew <3 They love it and it's still one of their favourites!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yskf94MYM1I

  68. K says...

    Anything Arnold Lobel! Frog and Toad, and Fables. I also love Patricia Polacco, strongly influenced by my 3rd grade teacher.

  69. Tc says...

    The Peace book by Todd Parr!

  70. Arena Jackson says...

    I absolutely love “Blueberries For Sal” by Robert McCloskey. It’s a delightful read and I marvel the illustrations, which were drawn by the author.

    • Lisa says...

      Agree completely. “One Morning in Maine”, also by Robert McCloskey, is equally wonderful and beautifully illustrated.

  71. Pig the Pug! I’m definitely biased since I have a pug, but this book is fun, short and sweet–and has a great message about sharing! I volunteer with my pug to read with kids at our local library (she’s a certified therapy dog!), and it’s always a big hit. It’s also a favorite to send to the first child of friends when they’re about to have a second :)

  72. Renee says...

    A Coyote Solstice Tale by Thomas King is a very big hit in our family. Kids love the plot (coyote goes to the mall at Christmas) and the dry humor (“that place had everything”). I love the subtle message of excess consumption and our impact on nature.

  73. Jaclyn says...

    FLOTSAM. About imagination on the jersey shore.

  74. Genevieve Martin says...

    What is the rough age range of children to enjoy “Extra Yarn” ? I have a 6 year old neice called Annabelle so thinking she might like it but not sure if she’s too old! Thanks :)

    • Heather says...

      We love this book! We’ve had it since our first was a year old simply because we liked it ourselves. We’re still reading it now and she’s four while her sister is two.

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      thanks Heather!

    • Heather says...

      Also I forgot to add – I think if their name is in the book it automatically makes it 1000 times more intriguing – so go for it!

  75. Blythe says...

    Three favorites:
    I love all of Karma Wilson’s Bear series (“Bear Wants More,” etc). The rhymes and rhythms are so well done and I think that both add to what are already sweet stories and great illustrations.
    My eldest, who is 8, still asks me to read “You Belong Here” by M.H. Clark almost nightly as we cuddle… this book has touched our hearts. The illustrations, the message, the soothing cadence… it’s just a beautiful book about families belonging together and the safety-net in our homes.
    And last but not least, “Z is for Moose” is our favorite alphabet book. It just cracks our whole family up! Poor, neglected, temper-tantrum-throwing Moose…

    • Allie says...

      Another shout out for Z is for Moose. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ That book and so did my kids

    • Lindsey says...

      Came to recommend Bear Snores On! I’ve read it probably 5 times a week for the past year and it still gets me.

  76. Gina says...

    Our often surly teenager overhead Stuck by Oliver Jeffers being read out loud to our younger kids and slowly, with each page, I saw a slight smile, then a little chuckle, and then she was in hysterics laughing along with everyone at the unpredictable antics of the book. Jeffers is a master of hilarious surprises and each of his books are a treasure…but I think Stuck will forever be my favorite…maybe just because of this memory.

    • Heather says...

      This is my favorite as well. Fingers crossed I can pull of a convincing Floyd costume for my discerning five year old for dress as a book character day in Kindergarten.

    • Lisa says...

      This is one of our favorites as well. Our 8 and 4 year olds enjoy it and laugh uproariously together. “The Way Back Home”, also by Oliver Jeffers is very charming. It is funny at moments but also thought provoking on a kid (and grown up) level.

    • Ramya says...

      We’re big Oliver Jeffers fans as well! Saw a performance of ‘How to Catch a Star’ at the Kennedy Center here in DC that was brilliant for my 5-year old (and for me too!).

  77. Lili says...

    There’s something so rhythmically soothing about reading Room on the Broom to my kids. At first I dreaded it when they picked it at night, only because it seemed so lengthy. But the words roll off the tongue so easily, it’s one of my favorites now. Bonus points for the Netflix TV adaptation being equally delightful to watch!

  78. Maggie says...

    Both my son and my husband love President Squid!

  79. We’ve been surprisingly happy with any book that has come from our Dolly Parton book club! We cry our eyes out together when we read Pup and Bear by Kate Banks because it is so painfully beautiful (truth be told, some nights we DON’T read it because we don’t feel like crying) and it has opened up the conversation and idea about adopting kids into our family (something I’ve always wanted). My oldest is also finally understanding what is happening in The Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena. There are really big topics in these books that are brought down to a level my 3 and 5 year can understand and the conversations we have afterwards are magic.

    • SMK says...

      The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is wonderful. All three of our kids are getting monthly books. I find the selections are hit and miss, but it is nice that they strive for diversity in authors, characters, and subject matter. Our oldest hasn’t turned 5 yet, but apparently when a child graduates from the program on her 5th birthday she gets a personalized book!

  80. Vicki says...

    The George and Martha books by James Marshall make us all howl with laughter! And those hippos are really good at being friends — they apologize and communicate well without being smarmy!

    • Jennifer says...

      our favorites too! I just love those sweet hippos.

  81. Polly Corrigan says...

    Dogger by Shirley Hughes is my favourite.
    Man on the Moon: A day in the life of Bob also came home from library with us many, many times, and is lovely to read aloud.
    And anything by Janet & Allan Ahlberg is loved by me too – Peepo, especially.

    • Annie says...

      I LOVE Dogger.

    • Margaret Forsey says...

      Oh, I LOVE ’Peepo’! The illustrations are charming and young children enjoy it so much. I love the Jolly Postman book, too. ❤️

    • Elisha Cohn says...

      The Ahlberg books are SO wonderful! We recently checked out Previously from the library and it really moved me in a totally unexpected way toward the end. Unfortunately my 4 year old declared Dogger too sad and won’t let me read it to him anymore, which is a shame because I really loved it. Luckily he still likes a lot of the other Shirley Hughes books.

  82. Kiersten says...

    The Harry Potter books! I’ve never understood why they’re categorized as children’s books — the themes are so adult and complex. Not to mention sh!t gets dark real fast.

    The How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell, who illustrated all the books too. Don’t be fooled, as wonderful as the movies were, the books are absolutely NOTHING like the celluloid version. It is 250% grimmer, more visceral, completely brutal yet utterly exciting and full of heart-in-mouth plot developments and stomach-dropping twists. Like Hiccup goes through SO. MUCH. it shouldn’t be allowed in a kid’s book!! And yet I couldn’t wait for the next installment!

    The Little Prince by Antoine de-Saint Exupery. I discovered this book in my early 20s and made the mistake of reading it on a long bus journey alone. By the end of it I was bawling my eyes out in a complete ugly-cry meltdown. It was so, so touching and utterly magical yet so profound that I was walking around woolly headed for days afterwards still wrapped up in its philosophical story, and I still have fond memories of it to this day.

  83. Mairead Alwell says...

    Oh my absolute favourite is Black Dog by Levi Pinfold, beautiful illustration and such a lovely story – 8 years of reading it to my three little ones and still love it.

  84. Lori says...

    Extra Yarn
    My No No No Day
    Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

  85. Sarah says...

    Anything by Arnold Lobel: I grew up on these and love them for their nostalgia–luckily my kids adore them too
    The Frances books by Russell Hoban: same reason as above, but these also have great lessons in each story
    My Father’s Dragon: discovered this more recently and my kids and I devoured it. It’s actually 3 books/stories, and is a great introduction to chapter books for little ones. Super fun and compelling.

  86. Jessie says...

    The mouse & bear books by Bonnie Becker were my family’s favorites when my son was younger. My son & I loved the dynamic between the grumpy, set-in-his-ways bear & the whimsical, ready-for-a-party mouse. Despite their differences, they were the best of friends.

  87. Jenny says...

    For families adding a baby there were a lot of books that assumed my son was upset or scared while I was pregnant and he wasn’t so I didn’t want to read any of those books and introduce the idea that he should be upset about it even if those kids come around in the end (I tried that with books about bedtime where kids were scared of the dark and it introduced that idea, ugh). So this one was great and funny and we still read it:

    Ready, Set, Baby – by Elizabeth Rusch

    It’s super honest about what new babies are like (ie not immediate playmates), but in a positive funny way, “like a loaf of bread” (and aren’t they at first if you’re 3?

  88. Jenny says...

    Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton
    Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
    Total coincidence that both are about owls, but I love both of these board books and could read them over and over! I also actually really enjoy:
    Little Blue Truck
    The Book of Sleep
    Blueberries for Sal

    • Jenny says...

      Oh and the:
      Henry Builds a Cabin
      Henry Hikes, etc series,
      based on the life of Henry Thoreau. My 3-year-old loves those and I do too:).

    • Emily says...

      Little Blue Truck is <3

  89. Katelyn says...

    Anything by Julia Donaldson, I love her writing and the stories she tells. The Snail and the Whale, is a current favorite.

  90. Analog House says...

    The Gruffalo and The Circus Ship. I always get them for new moms and babies!

    • Caitlin says...

      Circus Ship is so fun!

  91. sarah says...

    We currently have a 6 year old non fiction fan (aka real books). Two authors who have written funny, true and delightfully illustrated books that we love are, Elise Gravel and Rachel Poliquin

  92. Melanie Smith says...

    My kids are teenagers now so I don’t have current picks. But, I’ve always loved — and still do — Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day!!!

  93. Christina Matekel-Gibson says...

    I’m a children’s librarian, so children’s books are my jam! Anything by Erin Stead, Christian Robinson, and Mac Barnett.

  94. Lauren says...

    As a kid I looooved Ruby the Copycat! Now there are so many beautiful and charming books.

  95. Bronwyn says...

    Who Will Comfort Toffle? by Tove Jansson is one of my absolute favorites! It’s so beautiful and sweet and I always tear up on the last page. It’s just a pleasure to read. My daughter requested it every night for a month when she was nervous about starting kindergarten. I still read it to her in middle school when she is nervous about something.

    All the Frog and Toad books were my favorites when I was a kid and I loved sharing them with my daughter just as much. I love Arnold Lobel’s other books as well, especially Owl at Home. So silly.

    Caps for Sale is a fun board book to read. It’s silly and you can do fun voices.

    • Sasha L says...

      Frog and Toad after just the best. Fun 40 years ago, fun for my grown children 20 years ago, and still just as great today. They are meant to be early readers and are great for that, but also so fun to read aloud.

  96. Eliza says...

    Some of my all-time favorite books to read to my boys when they were younger:

    -Sandra Boynton board books (the Pookie ones are so great!)
    -If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen
    -In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
    -Sunday Morning by Judith Viorst
    -Knuffle Bunny series (of course, it helped that they were set in Park Slope!)

    There are so many more that my kids loved, but these are ones we all enjoyed. :-)

  97. Heather says...

    We like the “Frances” books, by Russell and Lillian Hoban

    • LovetoRead says...

      Yes! So great!

  98. LK says...

    My parents bought mostly Caldecott Medal Winner books for us, and it helped drive me towards becoming an artist, I went to art school and became a graphic designer!

    I just bought these 3 for a baby shower:
    Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsberg
    Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures with the Family Lazardo by William Joyce
    Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

  99. Jessica says...

    My daughter is only 5 months, so our books aren’t that complex yet. In general, I enjoy Seuss (“all the thinks you can think” and “the shape of me and other stuff” are fun to read). But man some of his smaller board books are BAD. I picked up “hop on pop”. It was so weird, I was actually glad my daughter couldn’t understand it! There was a few others like it that I just couldn’t get thru.

    • Sasha L says...

      It’s worth a deep dive into Dr Seuss, I highly recommend The Conscious Kid on IG – they have an academic paper with hundreds of citations documenting racism, sexism, colonialism – in ALL of his books (you can find it in their acct). Extremely problematic in a culture where we know better. So many better choices now.

  100. Hannah says...

    This comment prompted me to immediately order Giraffe and a Half on Amazon and never has prime shipping felt so slow than when you are waiting for a new book!

  101. Courtney says...

    The Watering Hole has the most beautiful illustrations and the animals from each habitat are drawn into the background which makes it fun to find as an adult.

  102. Rachel says...

    I love anything, ANY dArN THING, by Shirley Hughes (but especially “Dogger”). She is a British author whose words and illustrations are so genuine. The stories are about what life really is like, not flashy, catchy, or always rhyming, and they are like a deep breath in and out to read to children. I had a tattered copy in an old leather bag that I brought with me on errands the other day, and my seventeen year old son found it, pulled it out, and sat and read it in the car next to me…. I miss reading aloud to children.

    • Ann says...

      We recently discovered Shirley Hughes, and her Alfie stories have become favorites of my 3-year-old. Somehow she is able to so perfectly capture a child’s perspective of everyday happenings. Many of her books were published in the mid-80s, and while there’s little that specifically dates them, something about the illustrations feels wonderfully nostalgic and calming to me. I heartily second this recommendation!

    • Ella says...

      I haven’t seen it in the U.S., but if you can get your hands on Shirley Hughes’ Up and Up, it’s really fun!

  103. Mark says...

    Iggy Peck is great.

    Potato Pants is phenomenal. The Day the Crayons Quit is also stellar.

    And let’s not forget the screamy fun of Interrupting Chicken.

  104. becky says...

    The Circus Ship (van dusen) is awesome, a creative take on a real (sad) event. The illustrations are amazing. One of my favorite authors.

    One (otoshi) uses colors and numbers to discuss bullying and speaking up for one’s self.

    The Storm Whale is super cute too!

    • Jenny says...

      The Circus Ship is such a good one!

  105. Heidi says...

    There is a book called Today by Julie Morstad and it is my daughter’s favorite. I love the illustrations and I have contemplated buying a copy of this book so I can frame the pages as artwork. It’s fun and interactive, you can pick your outfit, what to eat for breakfast, where to go, what toys to play with, etc. We have fun picking things for each other, too… she always picks the strawberry gelato for me. So fun!

    • Margaret Forsey says...

      I love that book! It is so gorgeous and fun to pore over all the little details in the illustrations.

  106. Hilary says...

    I’m so excited to read all of the comments for ideas for my little one!

    Our favorite books are Slumberkins books. They are books that can accompany a lovey that teach different qualities. We have the Alpaca one that talks about stress relief. It’s so sweet and we keep going back to it. We plan on getting a few more for the holidays.

    We also love the Sandra Boynton books, although they’re not all hits. We love Happy Hippo, Angry Duck and Moo, Baa, La La La.

    Side note: My toddler loves the Pete the Kitty books and I just don’t get it. Funny how kids really tune in to some and not others.

    • Hilary says...

      I have to add Giraffes Can’t Dance as well! LOVE it!

  107. Erin L Kelsey says...

    They Very Patient Caterpillar by Ross Burach- laugh out loud funny and a riot to read out loud.

    Anything by Mo Willems- Elephant and Piggie are just the best. I also have recently started loving Nanette’s Baguette. A tongue twister but fun to read.

    • Tammy says...

      Nanette’s Baguette is the BEST! If you like that one, try Jack and the Flum Flum Tree by Julia Donaldson. The rhyming is masterful and it’s SO fun to read.

    • Sasha L says...

      LOVE Piggie and Gerald ♥️♥️♥️

  108. Krista Sharp says...

    Corduroy by Don Freeman. It has and will always be my favorite kids book.

  109. Gail says...

    Last Stop on Market Street is a gem.

    • Margaret Forsey says...

      Yes, agreed, it is a wonderful book. 💕

  110. I adopted older children so we didn’t read books for tiny ones, but Dr. Seuss helped my kids learn English [“one fish two fish red fish blue fish”]. They were both Russian speakers. For kids about 8 years old and up you can’t beat the classics – Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little. My son hated reading until I started reading to him every night and we read all the Harry Potter books in 6 months. I had never read them and I loved them! Also loved Michael Scott’s books starting with The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.

  111. Rachel says...

    I really love Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima. It’s sweet, funny and has a great message about inclusivity.

  112. Emma says...

    Bear’s Scare by Jacob Grant is a picture book that I found while browsing a book store that is so incredibly sweet and sincere. I don’t even have children and might buy myself a copy! It was that cute.

  113. Megan Snyder says...

    Bob Graham’s How to Heal a Broken Wing. The illustrations are soft and pretty, and while the text is sparse, Graham makes every word count. It tells the story of a child who stops to help an injured pigeon. He and his family nurse the pigeon back to health and it really shows kids that everyone–even those who look and behave differently than you–deserve compassion and respect. I give this book as a gift at every children’s party we’re invited to.

    https://smile.amazon.com/How-Heal-Broken-Wing-Graham/dp/0763698415?sa-no-redirect=1

  114. rachel white says...

    our family adores all the books by chris van dusen, most especially the mr. magee books. “learning to ski with mr. magee”, “a camping spree with mr. magee” and “out to see with mr. magee” – so good! i’m a library girl, but we purchased most of van dusen’s books because we read them so much.

  115. Caitlin says...

    I read to preschoolers everyday and love when they laugh at a story. The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt is really funny (also made me laugh out loud!) and any of Todd Parr’s book keep their attention and have such simple, important lessons.

  116. Hanna says...

    The Lorax

    Ferdinand

    A House is a House for Me

    Naked Mole Rat gets Dressed, by Mo Willems

    I could go on and on, actually. The main reason I had children was to buy and read them books. This just gets better and better over time, particularly as they’ve gotten old enough to buy and read me books. We need more shelves, though.

  117. Bonnie says...

    Especially for boys…
    1. Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel – funny and super sweet (watch the videos on YouTube first so you know how to imitate Toad’s voice)
    2. If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen – a little boy’s dream of the perfect car with a swimming pool and snack bar…the illustrations are amazing!
    3. The Great Dog Bottom Swap – hilarious…boys love it!
    4. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs – from the Wolf’s point of view
    5. Shortcut by David Macaulay – multiple narratives intertwine for a surprise ending
    6. Flotsam by David Wiesner – a wordless book that’s ingeniously layered

    • Jane says...

      Why especially for boys? Are frogs, toads, cars, and goofy books something only boys “can,” “should,” or “do” like? Why? Maybe because we read to them about these things, but don’t read them to girls. I can’t figure out why a little girl inherently wouldn’t like these books and am feeling really sad about how we approach so much in society (and from such a young age!) with such an unnecessarily gendered lens. We need to do better for both our girls and our boys.

    • Kate the Great says...

      I love all of David Weisner’s books. My 6 year old is beginning to grasp narrative and flow of story, so I think it’s time to check these out from the library again.

  118. Jill says...

    Anything by Julia Donaldson! The rhyming, the British slang, the great stories. Superstorm and the everywhere bear are my faves.

  119. Alex says...

    Oh I could talk about this forever! The story is integral of course, but a book has to have have great illustrations. Here are just a few of my favorites.
    -Blue on Blue by Dianne White (illustrated by Beth Krommes)
    -Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
    -Sleep Tight Farm by Eugenia Doyle (illustrated by Becca Stadtlander)
    Mr. Brown’s Fantastic Hat by Ayano Imai
    -Inside Outside by Lizi Boyd (its wordless but the house is so full of creative energy and delight).

    • LOVE Blue on Blue and Mr. Tiger Goes Wild!

  120. Shira says...

    I love “The Rabbit Listened” by Cori Doerrfeld. It’s a picture book great for taking about emotions and how to deal with them. And the illustrations so a really good job of depicting them. Started reading it with my daughter when she was 2!

    • Franny says...

      This is a great one!

  121. Jen says...

    Thank you for this post. So many great ideas here!
    I’ll add a few I don’t see mentioned yet:
    *William Steig’s Brave Irene, brilliant tale of perseverance and children figuring out their way.
    *My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, wonderful story of independence and the power of observation.
    *Bread and Jam for Frances and A Birthday for Frances by Russell Hoban – harder to find now but worth searching as the original (not first reader) versions are simply hilarious.
    -The James Herriott vet books are all wonderful and by daughter loved them especially around age 10.
    -Not story books, but I’m sure we’ve spent 10,000 hours looking at the I Spy and Can You See What I See books by Jean Marzollo. Didn’t matter that the text was minimal. We just talked and talked as we searched, and made up our own poems when we knew the original ones by heart.

  122. Megan says...

    Also a big fan of Zen Shorts! I find myself really enjoying some of the old classics… Miss Jaster’s Garden. Where the Wild Things Are. Last Stop on Market Street. A Snowy Day. Corduroy. Robert McClosky books.

  123. S says...

    Our favorites were The Little House (or anything by Virginia Lee Burton), Spoon (or anything by Amy Kraus Rosenthal, and the Jimmy Boa books.

  124. Kato says...

    A favorite right now, also of our 14 month old, is The koala who could by Rachel bright. Such a sweet story and the pictures are beautiful

  125. I love this thread!

    We have a few books that are so good I discover something new pretty much every time we read them —

    Du Is Tak by Carson Ellis!! It’s one of those you kind of don’t get it at first but eventually you understand everything they say and there’s so much to observe in the illustrations.

    Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall – again, so much to discover in the story and lovely illustrations & bigger lessons about the circular nature of life.

    Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang — I love the end of this one so so much.

    And last, In My Heart (a Book of Feelings) by Jo Witek – fun illustrations and SUCH a good way to help kids understand and identify their emotions. My kids will get this book out and open it to the right page sometimes when they don’t have the words for what they’re feeling.

  126. Shakti says...

    I love “The Ugly Five” by Julia Donaldson – I love that its about animals from my part of the world and that at the end, the Ugly Five’s babies sing to them about how they’re lovely and perfect. I teared up the first time I read it.

    My husband and I also love “How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night” by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. The illustrations are so amusing . The series of books is a must for any dino-obsessed kiddo or parent.

  127. RH says...

    The books in the “Who Was” series are biographies—as opposed to autobiographies. :)

  128. Christine says...

    Kids love poetry – particularly by Jack Prelutsky. My children are grown now – but we often come out with a line of Jack’s poetry mid-conversation to this day. He is funny and silly and sometimes quite outrageous. His poems invite you to speak in silly voices or in one case – a gruff deep mean voice. Our favorite book was “The New Kid on the Block”. Honestly, give it a try – it will have you giggling and sometimes roaring in laughter.

  129. Andrea says...

    Haha! That comment about The Very Hungry Caterpillar! :)

    I like the Mimbo Jimbo series. And strangely my son likes to read fact books about planets and insects for bedtime. :)

  130. agnes says...

    I particularly love Sarah’s room (maurice sendak), Where the wild things are (also Sendak), and many books that are french and probably not translated. There is one called Chien bleu, by Nadja. I read it every week!
    My friend who works in a nursing home has organized a whole new section in the nursing home’s library, with “children’s books”; I think it is a fantastic idea; fairy tales and children literature are beautiful and also deal with very deep subjects and elderly people enjoy very much being able to process these topics through beautiful images and apparently simple texts.

  131. Anything by Julia Donaldson is a pleasure to read aloud, but especially Room on the Broom 😊

  132. Julie says...

    “My Big Dumb Invisible Dragon” by Angie Lucas and illustrated by Birgitta Sif deals with loss and is a beautiful conversation starter for children. It’s also really helped adults I know dealing with grief. Plus the illustrations are amazing!

  133. mary says...

    Isle of You is my newest favorite children’s book. It is a great reminder that sometimes kids just need to be loved and to have time to unwind.

  134. Erin says...

    Oh my gosh, also “A Wish for Wings that Work”. For some reason, the story really resonated with me, a kid dealing with a stutter. A penguin who can’t fly saving the day with the skills he DOES have- swimming.

  135. Kathleen Kelly says...

    Noel Streatfeild. Noel Streatfeild wrote Ballet Shoes and Skating Shoes and Theater Shoes and Movie Shoes… I’d start with Skating Shoes, it’s my favorite, although Ballet Shoes is completely wonderful.

    • Janine says...

      Omg this comment ❤️

    • Lori says...

      Bless you for this quote!

    • Quinn says...

      Well played! :)

    • Heather says...

      ha this is wonderful! Makes me want to turn it on as soon as I’m home – it’s perfect for every season!

    • Kristin says...

      I have purchased so many copies of But Not the Hippopotamus for people. It is still a favorite in our house, though the kids are in their twenties.

    • Tara says...

      Caps for sale is an older book but still SUCH a hit!!! Both of my kids LOVE reciting it (3 and 5)

    • Erin says...

      Caps for Sale is a true classic. I grew up loving it, my kids enjoy it just as much, and I was shocked to see the year of the original copyright!

      But Not the Hippopotamus is one of our top Boynton books. Blue Hat Green Hat and Moo Baa Lalala are probably rounding out my top three.

  136. Kelly says...

    Vegetables in Underpants :)

  137. Lila says...

    My Father’s Dragon series, perfect for children who are just expandeing their attention span to chapter books.
    I Like You by Sandol Stoddard is so charming and funny and a great gift to a beloved (no matter their age!). I also love Elsa Beskow, her books always take you somewhere magic. And all the Tiptoes Lightly books, we’ve read those over and over!

  138. Kirsten says...

    YES, Mo Willems and Kevin Henkes!

  139. Anything by Calef Brown – so fun to read, it’s almost like rapping! We’ve also been reading books I enjoyed as a kid like – From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.

  140. Leah says...

    The book with no pictures by BJ Novak is ALWAYS funny, no matter how old you are or how many times you’ve read it.

    Lately I also loved Grandude by Paul McCartney. Fun creative adventure, and you can literally hear Sir Paul singing through the pages…

  141. Laura says...

    I’d love a roundup of your favorite board books. My daughter is “try to turn the page, fail, then rip it out in frustration” years old, so regular books don’t stand a chance.

  142. Tera says...

    The Olivia books! The subject matter is so funny to parents of a strong-willed child, and the artwork is so superb and original!

    • Katie says...

      The Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo. The three follow up books are also terrific.

  143. Erin says...

    As a kindy teacher, the favourites our 3-5yo kids request often are:

    -Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons
    -Greedy Cat
    -We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
    -The Scariest Thing in the Garden

    And the New Zealand favourite: Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy!

    I’ve also always loved The Three Legged Cat, The Witch in the Cherry Tree and The Great White Man-Eating Shark, all three by Margaret Mahy. They are stories with the cheekiest sense of humour :)

    I’m due my first baby in March 2020, but the board books I’ve found in stores are pretty lacklustre… Anyone have any good recommendations for beautifully-illustrated board books?

    • Leanne says...

      Emily Winfield Martin’s Dream Animals and Day Dreamers are BEAUTIFUL. A friend gifted us a copy of Dream Animals, and we’ve been giving it to everyone with small children.

    • Erin says...

      Thanks Leanne! Baby board books are so dry; sooo many plain black and white books… Here’s a cow. Here’s a duck. But the books you recommended look gorgeous! Putting them in the cart now :)

    • Tara says...

      Have you seen the book “hug” by Jez Alborough? It was my sons favorite and simple to read to an infant/toddler but still so much to find in the illustrations

    • Erin says...

      I just googled Hug and it looks so sweet! Another addition to our list! Thank you!

  144. Jess says...

    The Table Where Rich People Sit is my favorite – the illustrations are so beautiful and the story makes me tear up.

  145. Eva says...

    My criteria for the perfect baby books: beautiful illustrations that are both simple (for sleepy eyes) and complex (so you can elaborate for not-so-sleepy babies), a narrative with a pleasant cadence (some repetition that gives it a rhythm if not outright rhyming), the right amount of text (too many words=exhausting for baby, too few=boring for mama), and MOST IMPORTANT: a non-linear story so you can skip/alternate pages (to adjust for sleepiness levels and keep things interesting)!

    Taro Gomi’s books are perfection. In current rotation with my six month old: “My Friends” and “Bus Stops.” Want more! <3

    Also love: Giraffes Can't Dance; Click Clack Moo; and Big and Small, Room For All

  146. The Bear and Mouse series by Bonny Becker is a DELIGHT!

    • Jill says...

      I couldn’t agree more – my three year old and I absolutely love Bear and Mouse. The relationship between the two makes my little guy laugh and laugh, which in turn makes my mama heart swell.

      I personally get a kick out of Jory John’s Penguin Problems, about a grumpy penguin who just can’t seem to enjoy his spot in life until a walrus makes him stop and think (for a short moment!) about how good he has it. Makes me laugh out loud, and as my son has gotten older, he’s finding the humor in it now too. Whimsical illustrations to boot.

  147. Anna says...

    Paperbag Princess! It’s fun to read and I love how satisfying it is to say “And she didn’t marry him after all.” as she goes skipping off into the sunset. A great lesson for all of us.

    • Erin says...

      We all love “You. are. a. BUM!”

      It’s commonly recommended “for girls” but my son may get into it even more than my daughters. He is indignant for her every time!

  148. Amelia says...

    I look up to Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  149. Juniper says...

    Fortunately, by Remy Charlip
    The House in the Night, Susan Swanson
    Bread and Jam for Frances